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Ages on Marriage Certificates

Hello all,

Had to let you know about this.....

I am no expert by any means, but have been researching about 4 years now... as mentioned on my first posting, I have been trying to trace my stepfather's ancestry recently - no mean feat, as he is of romany descent.

I obtained a copy of his parents marriage cert, in the hope that I could trace a birth cert using the ages given on the marriage cert.... Don't believe it !!!! I searched for hours without making the connection....:'(

Yesterday I was doing a little research for a friend who supplied me with birth and marriage certs.... turns out the bride and groom BOTH lied about their ages at the time of marriage. On the marriage cert their ages are given as 21 and 22... when I looked at the birth certs for both parties, the bride was 27 and the groom was 19 !! :confused:

I was rather pleased actually, because now that I know this could happen I can carry on looking for birth certs that tie up in other respects rather than taking the expected dates of birth given as gospel.

Did we not have to produce evidence of age back in 1920's ?

I was amazed!

Perhaps they did not want to seek parental consent, with the chap being under 21... also perhaps it was unheard of to marry a 'toyboy' !! Good for her!

Basically the point of this posting is to tell other less experienced researchers like me not to take ages on marriage certs as written in stone like I did!:rolleyes:


Active member
My great grandmother married her 30 year old first cousin in 1872,and said her age was 17,when in fact she was barely 15.
I think it must have been a runaway marriage,as their normal addresses were in London ,but they married in a Cardiff registry office,with unknown(to me) witnesses.

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